US Senate to act on Capitol attack commission bill ‘very soon’, Schumer says – live
More from the AP regarding the violence in Gaza:
The White House says that reports of a move toward a cease-fire between Israel and the militant Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip are “clearly encouraging” but cautioned that a truce has yet to be agreed on.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday that the White House believes the Israelis have “achieved significant military objectives” in their strikes against Hamas targets, which is why President Joe Biden expects them to start “winding down” their operation there.
Psaki says the Biden administration has conveyed that to the Israeli side “and that is what we expect to happen.”
Psaki added that Biden’s comments to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling for de-escalation, were “a reflection of what we’re seeing on the ground.”
She said the United States’ “strategic approach here is to communicate directly, stay closely interlocked with the Israelis, with partners on the ground, to do everything we can to bring an end to the conflict.”
She also said the US has “held more than 80 engagements with senior leaders in Israel, the Palestinian Authority and across the region.”
White House pledges ‘fair and balanced’ global vaccine distribution
At the White House presser, Psaki also fielded questions about two major pipelines. She defended the Biden administration’s waiving of sanctions on the Russian company behind the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 and its German chief executive saying that it had geopolitical implications, and touting the US relationship with Germany.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken opted to waive the sanctions saying earlier they “would negatively impact US relations with Germany, the EU and other European allies and partners,” said the State Department report, which was obtained by NBC News.
Psaki, however, said the Russian pipeline decision was different than Biden’s blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline. “We’ve continued to convey we think it’s a bad idea, a bad plan,” she said, pointing to the various scientific reports about its environmental impact.
The White House press conference with Jen Psaki is underway. Psaki started the presser with a focus on jobs. She pointed out that this week the unemployment claims are lower than they’ve been for months, and that there have been 500,000 new jobs per month under Joe Biden’s presidency thus far.
But the presser was largely focused on the the ongoing conflict in Gaza, which has claimed over 200 Palestinian lives, and 10 in Israel.
Psaki retained on focus on Biden’s 80+ conversations with global leaders in an attempt to deescalate the violence. “We’ve seen reports of a move toward potential ceasefire,” she said, but noted that it was too early to know whether the strikes will end.
When asked about the progressive Democrat move to block more weapons trade to Israel, Psaki doubled down on the country’s “long abiding security and strategic relationship” with Israel.
Today so far
House Democrats pass Capitol security funding bill over progressive opposition
Senate will act on January 6 commission bill ‘very soon,’ Schumer says